The previous sale deed (i.e. atto di provenienza): Great Estate informs

The previous sale deed (i.e. atto di provenienza): Great Estate informs

Great Estate Network , Laws&Regulations Jan 08, 2021 No Comments
Have you decided to sell your property or buy your dream property? Then it is important that you know everything you need to know about the previous sale deed of a property.

The success of a property sale is inextricably linked to the presence of the previous sale deed of the property, the references of which must be included not only in the notarial deed of sale but also in the preliminary contract.

For this reason, if you have decided to sell your property, it is essential that you have this document. Equally, if you have decided to buy a property and want to avoid unpleasant surprises regarding its regularity, it will be essential to check the “provenance” of the property, by reconstructing the various steps that have led the seller (natural or legal person) to be the subject who is the full owner of the property and entitled to dispose of it.

This check can be carried out by requesting the PREVIOUS SALE DEED.

WHAT IS THE “ATTO DI PROVENIENZA” (i.e. previous sale deed)

The previous sale deed is a document certifying the ownership of a person’s right of possession over a property or, in other words, assigning ownership of the property to a person.
It is, therefore, a document, drawn up in paper form (non-verbal), following a public contract, a private deed or a judgment, in which the nature of the right in rem is indicated (full or bare ownership, usufruct, …), the regime (communion or separation) and the share of the right itself, in the hands of the person(s).

Thus, the previous sale deed may consist of:

  • a notarial deed or a private deed (e.g. sale, donation, division). The fundamental elements of the notarial deed, which are indispensable for its research, are the nature of the deed, the name of the notary, the date on which the deed was stipulated, the notarial register number, the date of transcription/registration in the public registers, the general register (casella) and the particular register (articolo);
  • a declaration of inheritance (which must be entered in the public registers). In this case, it is important to know that it is necessary to transfer the names of the owners of the cadastral company: in fact, the previous sale deed (in this case the declaration of inheritance) will indicate the person who owns the property, whereas the cadastral survey will still show the property in the name of the deceased. This kind of discrepancy, which is quite frequent, must necessarily be corrected before the conclusion of a new deed: this is possible by means of a cadastral transfer.
  • a court judgment (such as a deed of assignment issued by the court at the end of a case of usucaption or of an enforcement procedure).

Since it is therefore a document drawn up by a public official, the previous sale deed is full proof until a claim for forgery is made.


The act of origin, whatever its nature, can take various forms.

  • Transfer of title/deed or title/deed recording: it is a sort of summary of the content of the notarial deed, in which its identifying elements, indispensable for the purpose of public evidence, are highlighted: personal data of the persons in favour and against, cadastral data of the property, nature of the deed.
    Therefore, the transcription document does not contain all the data relating to the deed.
    For a thorough and complete examination of the transcription note, it is possible to request a copy of the telematic title, i.e. an exact and complete copy of the notarial deed. This is available online, but only for notarial acts concluded after 2014. For all other deeds, it is possible to request a copy of the title at the Registry Office.
  • Copy of the Notarial deed: you can ask the Notary who certified the previous deed of sale.


Both if it comes from a Court or from a Notary, the previous deed of sale contains three main information:

  1. who is the owner of the property: i.e. the person, natural or legal, who has the right of ownership of the property (if there is more than one owner, the document shows the shares of each);
  2. under what title did he/she become the owner of the property: full ownership, bare ownership, superficial ownership, usufruct and so on;
  3. any usage clauses: e.g. conditions precedent or termination, restrictions, liens, easements or similar.


As mentioned above, the previous deed of sale is necessary to conclude any deed disposing of the right held, such as a deed of sale of real estate or a mortgage loan, or to prepare a 20-year certificate.

If you have decided to buy a property, this document will help you understand who is entitled to the VALID sale of the property.
In the case of a property built directly by the seller, you will need the land deed and the building permit.

N.B In the case of a mortgage loan, the credit institute, by analysing the title of origin, can assess what rights the borrower has over the house and in what proportion, as well as identifying any limits to the mortgage possibility of the property.


The law stipulates that it can be issued by two authorities: the notary who drew up the deed or the judge.

The notary generally delivers the document to the person who acquired the rights to the property as a result of the transfer of ownership, whether by deed of sale, division, donation or otherwise.

In addition, a deed of provenance may be issued by a court.
In fact, as stated above, a court judgment is equivalent to a deed of provenance, such as when it rules on a case for usucaption, or when it assigns a property to an adjudicator after an enforcement procedure.


The deed of provenance of a property is available in public registers, with a few exceptions. In the Offices of Real Estate Publicity, formerly Conservatoria RR.II., notarial deeds are filed, which can be searched in two different ways:

For deeds transcribed in the machine-transcribed period (which generally includes the years between 1974 and 1980), the search can be carried out online through the Sister platform of the Agenzia delle Entrate.
On the other hand, for all the deeds transcribed in the previous period, the search can be carried out at the counters of the Offices of Real Estate Publicity.

Given that the dates of machine-transcribed of the Conservatories in Italy are not uniform and that, in general, each Conservatory has done things differently, it is advisable to check the dates on which the Conservatory was updated before proceeding with the inspection.

In the light of all the information we have provided so far, it is clear that the “provenance” of a property is the result of a combination of situations, facts, certifications and various documents. Therefore, you will understand that reconstructing it can sometimes be a difficult task.

This is why, whether you are selling or buying a property, it is essential to rely on skilled and qualified professionals.

We have already mentioned several times how the Great Estate Group carries out all the necessary checks to ensure the marketability of a property, and therefore the success of the sale.

Specifically, with regard to deeds of provenance and more generally to over twenty-year-old mortgages, we have a valuer with over twenty years’ experience who carries out these specific checks for each property offered for sale by Great Estate.


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Virginia Vaccaro

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